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'A disappointing turn': Duke University to require masks indoors effective July 30

Starting Friday, July 30, all students, staff and visitors will be required to wear face coverings at Duke University until further notice.

DURHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Duke University announced that effective Friday, July 30, all people will be required to wear masks indoors, even if they're fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The announcement comes one day after the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention updated its guidance, recommending that even vaccinated people return to wearing masks indoors in parts of the U.S. where the delta variant of the coronavirus is fueling infection surges. Duke's order will apply to all students, faculty, staff and visitors in all Duke-owned and leased buildings until further notice. 

Masks will not be required in on-campus residence halls where there is a significantly lower risk of exposure, the university said. 

"While we know this is a disappointing turn, we make this move now based on the latest recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Duke’s own infectious disease experts in hopes of containing potential outbreaks that may limit our ability to continue other activities during the fall semester," Duke said in a statement. 

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As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, 57% of adults in North Carolina are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 60% have taken at least one dose. The state reported 1,603 new cases of the virus on Wednesday. So far, 13,590 people have died from coronavirus since the pandemic began. 

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